Kale White Cheddar Double-Stuffed Chicago Pizza

Cravings are odd. It’s been at least 5 years since I last had Chicago double-stuffed pizza and yet for the first time last night I was absolutely longing for it. I’m really not sure why. Of course I loved Giordano’s back in the day, but even when I lived in Illinois I never really craved it. The irony being that now when the craving struck there wasn’t likely to be a Chicago pizzeria for hundreds of miles. (The Giordano’s site, which allows you to search within a radius of 250 miles, came up with nothing for me.)
So what to do? Obviously make one myself! I didn’t have all the pizza ingredients I would have liked on hand, but I improvised and the result was quite good although needing more cheese (I’ve adjusted the recipe below accordingly). My biggest regret was not having mushrooms–somehow they’re the one pizza topping/stuffing I love above all others.
Kale White Cheddar Double Stuffed Chicago Pizza
adapted from Andrea Meyers’ recipe
1 batch pizza dough (see note)
1 bunch fresh kale
1-2 leeks
1/2 bell pepper
1/2 onion
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. olive oil
1 tomato, chopped
16 oz (that would be 1 lb) extra sharp white cheddar, sliced or grated
Sauce:
15 oz petite diced tomatoes
1 cup pasta sauce
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. dried basil
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan
Mix all the sauce ingredients and set aside.
Remove the stems from the kale and steam for 3 minutes until slightly softened. Squeeze dry and chop coarsely.
Meanwhile, slice the leeks, dice the onion and green pepper. Saute for 1 minute in 1 T. olive oil, then add the garlic and saute until the vegetables are just beginning to soften. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Divide your risen pizza dough in half. Roll half into a circle large enough to cover the bottom and sides and slightly overlap the edges of a 12-inch pizza pan or cast iron skillet. Tuck it gently into the pan and layer half the cheese on the bottom. Add the kale, onions, peppers, tomatoes, or whatever other toppings you chose to use and then top with the remaining cheese. Roll the second half of the dough into a circle the size of your pan and lay on top, crimping the edges with the first circle of dough to form a slight wall around the edge of the pizza. This will ideally keep your sauce from running everywhere. (As you can see, I didn’t make my “walls” tall enough and ended up with slightly burnt edges.) Cut a couple of steam vents in the top crust, then gently pour your sauce on top. Bake 30-35 minutes until crust is done and cheese is completely melted.
Remove from the pan onto a wooden cutting board and let cool 5-10 minutes to prevent burning your tongue. Enjoy!

Notes: I haven’t included the pizza dough recipe because I’m guessing it’s something that most people will have already and will otherwise be easy to find. Really a basic high-gluten bread dough recipe will work fine; but if you’re still searching just use Andrea’s.
It is very important that you squeeze all possible moisture from your kale and any other “juicy” toppings, or you will have a sadly soggy bottom crust.
Speaking of toppings, use whatever you like. Any regular pizza topping will be just fine, or you could stick to a plain cheese pizza and that would be completely acceptable as well. If you like crunchy in your pizza, you can also skip the part where you saute the vegetables to soften them. And while I enjoyed my cheddar, I should note that traditionalists will want to stick to mozzarella.
If you happen to be in possession of a deep-dish pizza pan, use it. I was not, but found that a 12-inch cast iron skillet did the job just fine. Be sure that whatever pan you pick has sides at least 2 inches tall, though!

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2 Responses to Kale White Cheddar Double-Stuffed Chicago Pizza

  1. Blimey, that is deep! It looks insane. I’ve never ever seen a pizza like that.

  2. literarydelights says:

    Crazy, isn’t it? Double stuffed pizza is a specialty that I’ve only ever seen in Chicago.

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